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Solar Power

California Solar Panel Law: 10 Things To Know About Solar Panels

As a Californian, you’ll already know about laws being put in place right now around solar panels. These laws are stating that most single family residences must have solar panels installed, in an act to reduce the amount of energy consumed in the state. What do you need to know about solar panels before you have them installed?

 

What Is the California Solar Panel Law? 

As we move into 2020, the California solar initiative requires all newly constructed homes to include solar panels. California is the first state to require solar energy on single-family and multi-family homes. This law is part of the California Energy Commission to increase the amount of energy from clean energy sources up to 50% by 2030.

Here’s all the facts before you book that fitting for your roof to fulfill the California solar panel law.

 

 1. Solar Energy Is Free And Renewable

Solar panels are an excellent choice for the home, as the energy they produce is totally free and renewable. If you have solar panels installed, they will collect the energy as soon as the sun comes out. In sunny areas, such as California, this means you can power your home mostly on this energy.

Using a free energy source like this is the perfect option, as once the panels are installed the power won’t cost you a thing. Many home owners love their panels, as they enable them to save a lot of money on their electric bills.

 

 2. Solar Energy Isn’t A New Idea

The idea of harnessing power from the sun isn’t a new one. The first person to document their ideas about solar energy was Leonardo Di Vinci in the 15th century. The first solar cell was developed in the 19th century, but it couldn’t put out enough energy to be useful. Only now are we really getting the most out of solar energy.

 

 3. A Huge Amount Of Power Can Be Gained From The Sun

You would be amazed by just how much power can be gained from the sun. On average, with the California solar panel law, a single home can save 75 million barrels of oil and 35 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year when they power their homes with solar panels. That’s a huge amount, and if multiple homes are doing this, it’s going to make a huge dent in the ecological change brought about by fossil fuels.

In fact, the sun puts out so much power that the Earth receives more solar energy in an hour then it would need to consume in an entire year. That measures out at about 120 terawatts. You can see how crazy it seems not to harness this power.

 

 4. There Are Two Types Of Solar Panels

You may not have known this, but there are actually two different styles of solar panels that you can get for your home. The first type is the photovoltaic panels, also known as solar PV panels. These are the panels you’ll be most familiar with, as they are the panels that turn sunlight into electricity, and are most often found on roofs.

The other style you’ll find is called a solar thermal panel. These convert the sun’s warmth into heat, and are most often used to heat swimming pools and homes.

 

 5. The Cost Of Solar Panels Can Be Reduced With Tax Credits

You shouldn’t underestimate the cost of having solar panels installed, as you will need to to pay for this upfront. However, you will see savings on your electricity very quickly once they’re up and running. Also, you may be eligible for tax credits, which will reduce the cost under the new California solar panel law. For example, a $20,720 installation will be brought down to $15,333 after the tax credits are applied.

 

 

 6. You’ll Have To Maintain Your Solar Panels

Once you have solar panels installed, you’ll need to take care of them to ensure that you get the best from them. Luckily for you, this won’t be too much work. Most of the time, panels will just need to be cleaned to ensure they’re not blocked by dirt. If your panels are tilted, then you’ll find that rain does a lot of this job for you as it washes the dirt off. You’ll also need to ensure the panels aren’t shaded, such as by the branches of nearby trees.

 

 7. Solar Panels Have A Long Lifespan

When you’re looking at getting solar panels, you may worry about how soon you have to replace them. The good news is, it won’t actually be a problem for a long time. The average solar panels have a 25 year warranty, but that of course depends on who installs them. With proper care, a solar panel can last for up to 30 – 40 years. You won’t need to think about replacing that solar panel for a long time yet.

 

 8. Solar Panels Do Not Need Direct Sunlight To Work

A common misconception is that a solar panel needs to be in direct sunlight to work. While it’s true that they cannot work during the night, a storage battery will help you power your home when the sun isn’t out. Even if it’s cloudy out, or you’re not getting as much sun because it’s winter, those solar panels will still work. You won’t be missing out because it’s not hot and sunny outside.

 

 9. Placement On Your Roof Will Affect How Solar Panels Work

While solar panels don’t need to be in full sunlight every day to work, they do need to be able to get a good amount on sunlight to work. That’s why it’s often recommended that they’re placed on south facing roofs, in order to get the maximum sun possible. The angle of your roof affects the solar panels too, as they work best at 30-35 degrees.

 

 10. Solar Power Is Already Being Used Everywhere

Solar power installation has already been use for decades, and the ideas behind the California solar panel law is not new. It’s been used to power everything from calculators to phone chargers, so it’s a wonder they haven’t been in widespread use for homes until now. There are solar farms already being used in empty areas, such as the Mojave Desert. This farm generates 90% of the world’s commercially used power.

These are ten of the most important things you need to know about solar power. With this new California solar panel law coming into effect, you’ll need to get solar panels installed on your home. As you’ve seen though, you’ll benefit enormously from it.

 

Categories
Blog Roofing Solar Power

3 Myths About Solar Panel Roofing

Solar panels have been around for quite a while. The technology, solar photovoltaic, was discovered in 1839 by a French scientist, and in 1954, the first silicon photovoltaic cell, the precursor of today’s silicon cells, was developed. You would think that with such a long history behind it, everyone would by now fully understand solar technology, and its myths would have long been debunked.

However, today you can still hear a lot of rumors about solar panels.  Proponents of solar energy accuse the fossil-fuel energy market of starting and perpetuating these myths in a self-serving effort to undermine solar and promote their fossil fuel agenda.

As a result of this misinformation, many homeowners don’t think solar power is right for them. They believe the technology isn’t ready, they’re in the wrong location, or they simply can’t afford it. Since the myths about solar panels are too numerous to tackle in one article, let’s hone in on three of the most popular rumors and see how they stand up under the light of an objective investigation.

Myth #1: Solar panels won’t work in cold, snowy, or cloudy weather

According to this myth, low temperatures have a negative effect on solar panel power production and clouds and the snow that accumulates in the panels will render them ineffective.

Fact: The panels actually perform better in cold weather, and the effects from snow and clouds are minimal.

Solar panels produce power based on the amount of sunlight they receive. They are not affected by temperature. Surprisingly, solar PV panels work better in colder weather as opposed to extremely hot temperatures. Sunny, cold days in winter can generate as much solar energy as a hot, summer day. In fact, solar works very well throughout North America.

While snowy and cloudy weather reduces the amount of energy that solar panels can generate, they still work efficiently under these conditions. Tilting solar tracker units at a steeper angle can allow snow to slide off faster, and you can use a roof rake to remove snow from panels if it does accumulate.

Myth #2: The return on investment (ROI) is too long

Part of this myth says that solar panels require more energy to manufacture than they produce in their lifetime, meaning there is no benefit to energy conservation. The other part states that the huge initial outlay for the panels makes it impossible for a homeowner to see a reasonably fast ROI.

Fact: The Return on Investment is guaranteed at 5%-15%. You can expect free energy for many years.

A study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory conclusively demonstrates that energy payback for photovoltaic (PV) is less than four years. It states:

“Reaping the environmental benefits of solar energy requires spending energy to make the PV system. But…the investment is small. Assuming 30-year system life, PV-systems will provide a net gain of 26 to 29 years of pollution-free and greenhouse-gas-free electrical generation … So, for an investment of from 1 to 4 years’ worth of their energy output, PV systems can provide as much as 30 years or more of clean energy.”

Most solar panels have a 20 to 25-year warranty. They are guaranteed to produce at least 80% of their initial power. Grid-tie inverters, which typically have a 10- to 20-year warranty, will likely need to be replaced only once in the life of the system. The energy payback time of fewer than four years for a system–solar panels, inverter, racking, and cables– translates into many years of clean energy.

As for your personal ROI, it depends on your system and its location, but solar panels should pay for themselves within six to 15 years. If you include the most lucrative state and federal tax credits and incentives, you could see a payback of two to four years. Keep in mind that solar panels also increase the resale value of a home by about $15,000. You could see a significant ROI when you sell, even if you won’t be in your home for the next 15 years.

Myth #3: The panels need regular maintenance and can cause leaks

This myth has persisted for many years because many homeowners believe that the panels must constantly be cleaned to be effective and that attaching anything to your roof will cause leak points.

Fact: The panels require almost no maintenance and tend to protect your roof

There are no moving parts on solar panels, so there is no regular maintenance involved. Some owners opt to hose off the panels occasionally, but most don’t bother to wash them and count on the rain to keep them clean. Of course, it is recommended that any large debris is quickly removed from the panels.

Rather than weakening your roof, solar panels preserve the part of the roof they cover. If you ever must repair your roof, the panels can easily be removed. Most solar panels are not attached directly to the roof.  Instead, they are fastened to a mounted railing system. Sealants are used to fill the gaps and flashing acts as a moisture barrier around the mounts.

One last word of advice: If your roof already needs to be repaired or replaced, take care of the repairs before the installation.

Other myths that can also be handily debunked

Here are a few more myths about solar panels that consumers would be wise to take with a grain of salt:

  • You should wait until technology improves before investing in solar
  • Only a few states offer financial incentives for installing solar panels
  • Solar panels are unattractive
  • Solar panels require a tracking system to follow the angle of the sun
  • Solar is too expensive for widespread use
  • A solar system will raise my property taxes
  • If you don’t have a south-facing roof, you can’t do solar

 

Remember, installing solar panels might not be the best move for you right now. Consult with a professional roofing company to help you decide, and ignore all those myths..

Categories
Roofing Solar Power

9 Reasons to Consider Solar Roof Installation

Tesla, the company that produces electric cars and wall-mounted batteries, announced in October that it would begin manufacturing solar roofing tiles in 2017. Unlike the traditional panels that are designed to be mounted on top of an existing roof, these tiles are made of tempered glass and can completely replace the old roof.

The shingles will be available in several different styles, and all of them will be able to capture sunlight and turn it into electricity with the same efficiency as the traditional roof-mounted panels.

Aesthetics has much to do with the resurgence of solar power’s popularity. No longer is it required to attach panels the size of a pool table to your roof. Instead, in the past few years, solar-powered shingles that blend almost seamlessly with traditional roofing materials have replaced the large racks.

The system sounds exciting, but there are nine things to consider—both pro and con—if you’re thinking about solar installation for your roof:

1. Understand how solar shingles work

These systems are called “building-integrated photovoltaics,” and they combine solar cells with slate, metal, fiber-cement, even ­asphalt roofing. Electricity is generated when the sun strikes a semiconductor layer, typically crystalline silicon laminated to the shingle’s surface.

2. How much electricity can they generate?

While one solar shingle by itself doesn’t produce much power (between 13 and 63 watts), harnessing hundreds of square feet of them together can generate enough electricity to power an entire house. The shingles are installed over new or existing roof sheathing and are then tied in with your home’s electrical system.

3. Tax credits are available

Installing solar energy equipment in your home can qualify you for a credit equal to 30% of your total cost. The credit is available through the end of 2019. After that, the percentage steps down each year and then stops at the end of 2021.

Also, twenty-seven states and several cities offer additional incentives that can reduce pricing on solar equipment and roof installations even more.

4. Lower electric bills can be expected

Savings can be affected by the geographical and physical location of your house. Areas that get fewer days of sunlight or houses that are surrounded by trees won’t get the full benefit of the solar installation.

And while homes in sunnier states can collect more solar power than those in northern climates, the payback from solar is also strongly affected by local electric rates. “If you have a 2-kilowatt PV system in Albuquerque, New Mexico, it produces 25 percent more electricity than the same system in Boston,” says Noah Kaye, of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “But the savings are greater in Boston since electricity there costs so much more.”

5. Higher home value on resale

Another significant factor, often overlooked, is that solar shingles will increase the value of your home. If you decide to sell it, they also help your house sell faster and for more money than a similar property without a solar system.

The United States EPA, reporting in the Appraisal Journal, writes that for every dollar you save in annual utility costs, solar panels increase the value of your home by $20. Simple math calculations show that this can significantly add up. If your system saved you $1,000 a year on energy, the house could sell for $20,000 more on the resale market. In comparison to many other home renovations, solar can often recover more than 100% of the original cost. A 2011 study by the National Bureau of Economic Research similarly calculates that installing residential solar panels boosts home prices by 3-4%.

6. Solar installation: easier but expensive

The good news on solar installation is that it’s easier to install solar shingles than it is to install solar panels. In fact, regular roofing installers can take care of most of the work, but you’ll probably need the help of an electrician to set up the wiring and connect you to the grid.

On the downside, installing solar roof shingles comes with a high price tag. Despite technological innovations, a large installation can still cost anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000. But if the old roof shingles need to be replaced anyway, it could be more cost effective to install solar shingles than to replace the roof with traditional shingles and add roof-mounted solar panels.

Solar shingles can save time and money by using a single installation crew and a single product that provides both roofing and solar energy production.

7. Appearance is a matter of taste

As previously mentioned, one of the primary benefits of a solar shingle system is the visual appeal. Solar panels are bulky and stick out from the roof, while tiles are designed to match the existing roofing. Although solar shingles may not match all roofing correctly, they do blend in, creating a sleek appearance for most people.

On the other hand, while the stylish look of solar shingles is appealing to some, unless you intend to cover your entire roof with solar shingles, the contrast of the solar tiles against the traditional shingles might not suit others. Aesthetic preferences are a strong consideration before investing in solar.

8. Surprising durability

It seems counter intuitive to use glass as roofing material, but manufacturers are guaranteeing the tempered glass tiles for 15 years or longer.

CertainTeed, for example, claims that their Apollo II system has been tested and rated to withstand 250 pounds per square inch and winds of up to 110 miles per hour.

9. Decisions, decisions

If solar shingles are to be a sound investment for you, your house should have a roof with a southern exposure that is not blocked by trees.

The pitch (angle) of the roof also makes a difference. A steep pitch will not work efficiently. Your contractor will need to check the angle to confirm that your roof is suitable.

The condition of your existing roof will also play a part in your decision. Solar shingles can be blended in with your regular shingles, providing that the old ones are still in good shape. Otherwise, you will need to replace the entire roof.

Solar systems have made tremendous strides recently: Better aesthetics, shorter paybacks, and easier installations head the list. But the initial outlay may prohibitive for many. It’s a difficult decision and a very personal one. If you decide to go ahead, make sure that you hire experienced professionals to do the solar roof installation.

 

 

Categories
Roofing Solar Power

Solar Power Growing

The energy revolution is here and starting to take over bit by bit. Renewable sources of energy including solar and hydroelectric are now representing about 30 percent of the world’s total capacity and 23 percent of the total global electricity. The World Energy Council (WEC) have released number stating that in the last ten years solar power and wind power have seen a huge annual growth of about 50 percent. Solar power is changing the game on energy for us at home, work and around the world.

With the world on notice of climate change occurring and our main sources of energy and power are causing issues, going the solar and wind route is really taking shape. The lower cost of going solar in your home is more feasible than ever. There are many different types of solar panels now to give you the best option for the price and what you are striving to get out of it. People that have gone solar have noticed the drastic drop in their energy bills.

 

For more information on how solar power is growing visit CNBC HERE

 

 

Categories
Solar Power

Mistakes to Avoid With Solar Installation

Installing solar panels on your property is a great way to save money while saving the planet, but you will want to know exactly what you are getting yourself into before you commit your time and money to solar installation.

While you are learning about how much you can save with solar panels, learn a few of the pitfalls to avoid throughout the process.

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Solar Power

The Benefits of Solar Installation

You are probably hearing a lot about solar power in the news, in advertisements, and even around the proverbial water cooler. Considering that the concept of solar power has been around for nearly 200 years, and that solar energy has been used in the US for the last sixty, you might be asking yourself what all the hubbub is about. Below are some of the best reasons to consider solar today.

Reduce Monthly Energy Bills

With energy costs rising all the time, consumers are feeling the crunch. Trying to cut down on your energy use is one thing, but when essentials like your refrigerator or water heater are responsible for most of your energy consumption, it can be hard to reduce. Solar panels on your home can drastically decrease the amount you fork over to the electric company every month.

Save Money on Installation

As few as ten years ago, the installation costs of solar panels were prohibitive for most homeowners. But new rebate programs and incentives for consumers who install solar are at an all-time high. The benefits vary depending on your area, but many solar companies have programs designed to help you offset installation expenses.

Improved Quality and Lifespan

A common concern when investing in any major purchase is the expected lifespan. Today’s solar panels have a lifespan of at least 20 years, and almost all of them come with a manufacturer’s warranty and other performance guarantees.

Expanded Usage Potential

Solar companies will examine your energy usage and recommend solar capacity based on it. A common mistake many homeowners make is increasing their energy usage after their solar panels are installed, then being disappointed that their electric bill did not change. If you are installing solar panels so that you can run your A/C unit day and night, or so you can install a new hot tub, make sure to take that usage into account.

Installing solar panels is a terrific way to reduce your dependence on the grid and lower your electric bill. Consult with a qualified installer to find out all the ways solar can benefit you.

 

If you are reading this on any other blog than All Climate Roofing
or via my RSS Feed, it is stolen content without credit.
You can find me on Twitter via @MikeOnARoof
Come and visit our blog at https://allclimateroofing.com/blog/
Categories
Solar Power

Tips for Buying Solar Panels

Harnessing the power of the sun is a great way to save energy and money, but you want to make sure you do it right, otherwise you might experience a solar headache. As you are learning about the advantages of solar power, learn how to buy your new panels the right way.

Categories
Roofing Solar Power

The Benefits of Professional Solar Installation

Solar panels are swiftly coming down in price while still gaining efficiency, leading many people to adopt them as quickly as their budgets allow. Whether you are interested in renewable power for the cost savings, the environmental benefits, or for some combination of factors, the time has come for this technology to go mainstream.

Getting the most out of a solar installation is no easy task, though. With a variety of factors influencing the productivity of solar panels, finding the best installation path for your home or business can often involve some in-depth planning and execution.

Factors

Your solar output can be influenced by the following factors:

  • Size of each panel
  • Backing material used in the construction of panels
  • Angle of inclination
  • Hours of direct sunlight daily
  • Latitude
  • Local climate

These factors work together in complex ways, and some of them change throughout the day, which is why a professional solar installation can be so beneficial. Correctly calculating the best way to arrange a solar system for all-day power production requires experience and a knowledge of the way that emphasizing different factors can create trade-offs for the consumer.

Adjustable Tilt Options

Working with a professional can also help you to understand how adjusting the tilt of your solar panels to compensate for the changing height of the sun can bring you extra savings. With roof-mounted solar systems, you probably still want to let your installation specialists make the adjustment, but having the tilt changed to match the seasons can result in up to a 15 percent increase in the energy production. For larger systems, this more than makes up for the small costs associated with brief adjustment appointments.

Optimum Output

Optimum solar output is what it sounds like, an ideal set of circumstances. Working with a professional who understands the way solar roofing works and how placement and regular maintenance can increase power production can help you to approach this optimum as closely as your geography and climate allow, though. With the savings realized by renewable, self-generated power, it only makes sense to set it up for success.

 

If you are reading this on any other blog than All Climate Roofing
 or via my RSS Feed, it is stolen content without credit.
 You can find me on Twitter via @MikeOnARoof
 Come and visit our blog at https://allclimateroofing.com/blog/
Categories
Solar Power

The Future of Solar Power and You

Have you ever thought about installing solar panels on your house? If you have, chances are you considered the money you could save and the good it would do for the environment. But did you know there are even more benefits? Installing solar panels may be a good option now, and an even better one in the future.

Solar Power Today: Saving Money and the Environment

Using solar energy for a company or your own home is an economically smart choice. While each home is different, most people immediately save anywhere from 25 to 50 percent on their electric bill each month. Over the course of several decades, this can add up to a substantial amount of money.

Looking at solar panels from an environmental standpoint, they decrease a home’s carbon footprint. Normally, the energy we use to power our homes comes from industrial power plants. These plants emit large amounts of carbon dioxide, which directly contributes to global warming. When you use solar energy, you set an example to others and set a precedent for clean energy use in the future. Either way you look at it, solar panels are doing a lot of good for consumers and for our climate today.

Solar Power Today: A Portable Energy

Solar Panels are often set up in sunny areas where they get a lot of use. Despite this, we can never control how much sunlight shines down year after year.

Because we can’t rely on the amount of solar energy we get through the seasons and years, it’s a good thing the energy is storable and portable. Residential and industrial consumers can store solar energy and use it over time.

Solar Power Tomorrow: Increasing Demand

You’re not the only one who is paying attention to the benefits of solar energy. According to Next City Daily, in 2014, demand for solar energy has increased by 41 percent. And this includes commercial and industrial consumers. In residential areas, there has been over a 60 percent increase in households using solar energy.

Businesses have realized they can’t keep emitting the same carbon dioxide energies into the atmosphere forever. It’s time to find another solution-a renewable resource. This is why big businesses are also turning to solar energy.

We can no longer ignore the need to turn to solar energy and do away with carbon-emitting energies. As demand increases around the world, others will join and make the future of solar energy come sooner that we think.

Solar Power Tomorrow: Increasing Response

When the demand for goods goes up, the availability often grows to match. Such has been the case with solar energy. More solar plants are opening in response the call for renewable energy. These solar plants are opening all over the world in places where the sun shines bright.

More demand also means cheaper goods. As time goes on, we expect the price of panels to go down. This is a trend we have been seeing over the last several years, and one we are certain will continue.

On top of this trend, the U.S. Department of Energy has put in place several measures to ensure prices become more and more affordable for consumers. They launched a program called the SunShot initiative, designed to keep the cost of solar panels down.

Solar Power: What You Can Do

Get ready for the future of solar energy in your home. Solar power is going to be even more accessible and more affordable over the next few years. Adding solar panels to your home is an investment in the future. They add value to your home and can help homes sell faster. Get started by contacting a roofing contractor to see how solar panels will fit in your home.

Categories
Solar Power

Solar Panel Installation Ventura County: Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

For hundreds of thousands of years, the Earth and its inhabitants relied on the power of the sun to provide light, heat, and energy. Even today, with access to other types of fuel, the sun is one of the largest, untapped sources of energy, but that is changing as more people discover the benefits of installing solar panels. Unlike other fuels such as gas, oil, or coal, the sun’s energy will continue to cover the earth for millennia. The solar panel installation Ventura country roofing companies provide can significantly decrease a family’s carbon footprint and even lower the monthly energy bill to zero.

Benefits of Going Solar

It is true that the initial investment of the solar installation Ventura country companies offer can be a bit of an expense, but solar panel can effectively pay for themselves in as little as four years. In many cities, houses with solar panel installation can even earn negative balances on their energy bill by supplying extra juice to the city.

This works when houses use less electricity that it absorbed through its solar panels, and then they pump the excess back into the mains. Families can even be paid by the city for contributing electricity. Even if your own city does not do this, you can still take advantage of national and local tax incentives that come with installing solar panels.

Making an Appointment to Discuss Solar Installation Ventura County

Although going solar may seem like a big leap, it is actually an easy transition, as long as you get the help of a professional solar panel installation crew. Go to your local roofing company to discuss what you will need to do to prepare your home for the next clean thing to come to electricity.

Your roof may require special brackets to hold the panels secure. There is also a question of hooking the solar electricity into the main power line of your home. Do not attempt to do any installing on your own without consulting with an expert first.

Tips for Choosing the Right Solar Panel Installation Company

When it comes to powering your home in Southern California, more and more people agree that “going solar” just makes sense. Evaluating the financial savings, the creation of sustainable energy, and how much your carbon footprint will shrink can only make it an easier choice. Because solar power is such a popular option and many local companies provide solar installation Ventura County, choosing the right one can be a challenge.

If you are having solar panels installed on your roof, you may want to find out if your local roofing company provides solar panel installation, or if there is a solar panel installation company who also can vouch for the integrity of your roof. You are planning for your roof and your solar panels to have a long and close relationship, so finding one company who can maintain both through the coming years can help to ensure that both are continuously healthy. Promotions and discounts may also be available by choosing a company that can provide both services.

Are they Reputable?

Before you sign on the dotted line, you want to know that the company you choose is reputable and will provide you with the highest quality in materials and service. Some online research can provide the names of companies and help you narrow the field, as well. The company’s certifications, qualifications, and experience are often displayed on their website, and they also frequently have a page for customer testimonials and references. Many times helpful independent reviews of the company’s work and customer satisfaction comments can be found online through business review websites. Online forums and discussion boards can also be a good place to find a referral to a good company.

Solar panel installation is an easy and natural way to live a greener life. With a little online research, you should be able to find a well-rated local company that protects the integrity of your roof while also providing excellent solar energy services.